The idea floating around that the best way to handle the gun issue is to require liability insurance for gun owners may well turn out to be the solution to what could be a deadlock in Congress.
The New York Times reports this afternoon that "both sides of the gun debate seem to agree on at least one thing: a bigger role for the insurance industry to play in a heavily armed society."
Lawmakers in at least half a dozen states, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania, have proposed legislation this year that would require gun owners to buy liability insurance — much as car owners are required to buy auto insurance. Doing so would give a financial incentive for safe behavior, they hope, as people with less dangerous weapons or safety locks could qualify for lower rates.
“I believe that if we get the private sector and insurance companies involved in gun safety, we can help prevent a number of gun tragedies every year,” said David P. Linsky, a Democratic state representative in Massachusetts who wants to require gun owners to buy insurance, which he believes will encourage more responsible behavior and therefore reduce accidental shootings. “Insurance companies are very good at evaluating risk factors and setting their premiums appropriately.”...NYT
In other words, if you don't know how to be a responsible gun owner, or if you have a mental health problem, or if you have a record, you pay through the teeth to insure your weapon.
The insurance industry is ...uneasy.
The insurance industry is wary of some of the proposals to require gun owners to buy liability coverage — and particularly of bills, like one that was filed in New York, that would require coverage for damages resulting not only from negligence but also from “willful acts.” ...NYT
If the insurance issue is seen as too costly or too complicated, the whole issue could die out. But control of one kind or another doesn't seem to be going away anytime soon, if the polls are to be believed. Americans want some control over gun acquisition and use. Simple as that.
Gun owners may complain, but they're no longer living in the sunshine of majority approval. After all, if it's people with guns, not guns, who kill people, then society has the right to monitor the people who have the guns. After all, the people who have the guns often give hypothetical reasons for needing them -- ("in case the government comes after me"). But now they've given the general public and both state and federal government real reasons for controlling guns: too many people with too many militarized weapons have killed too many innocents and they have done so in a meticulously planned, vicious manner.